Tenacious Michael Doyle has plenty to offer

Michael Doyle celebrates a goal for Sheffield United against Coventry, who are now rivalling Pompey for his signature
Michael Doyle celebrates a goal for Sheffield United against Coventry, who are now rivalling Pompey for his signature
  • Doyle has much to offer Pompey
  • Target can makes Blues impact at age of 33
  • More to Doyle’s game than reputation suggests
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AN AGGRESSIVE midfielder with plenty still in the tank.

That’s what Pompey will be getting if they land Michael Doyle, after he departed Sheffield United.

He’d do a good job for Portsmouth.

James Shield

Paul Cook has the 33-year-old in his sights as he sets about forming a squad to get out of League Two next season.

Doyle is also being touted for a move to Coventry, where he has spent eight years and made 295 appearances.

The Irishman still lives in the midlands with his family, but Cook is hopeful of tempting him to Fratton Park.

Pompey would get a player with an impressive CV after campaigning at Championship and League One level, in Doyle.

He may be edging towards the end of his career, but 57 appearances with the Blades last season shows he still has a lot of offer.

Sheffield Star writer, James Shield, has watched Doyle at close quarters and believes he’d be an asset for Pompey.

Shield said: ‘He’d do a good job for Portsmouth.

‘The fans there shouldn’t be worried about his age either. He’s an experienced professional.

‘I don’t think he’s played in that league before but he knows League One and what it takes to get in the play-offs.

‘He’s had success and had the calibre to have a long career at a higher level.

‘He may be entering the twilight of his career at a good level but he’s not at the end of it.

‘I’ve never seen anything to suggest his legs are going. There’s plenty left in the tank still.’

Doyle has been billed as a tough-tackling player who would fit into Cook’s preferred 4-2-3-1 system as one of the two holding midfielders.

But he does possess the ability to offer an attacking threat if utilised, according to Shield.

He said: Michael’s a very good professional.

‘It’s not a criticism but he’s very rarely spectacular on the pitch – although he is always very solid.

‘He gets painted as a holding midfielder and he’s equipped to play that role.

‘He has a very tenacious edge to him and the aggression side is a big part of his game.

‘But there’s always a danger he can be typecast as that. He, in fact, has a pretty decent shot on him as well and when he gets forward to unload, he does make the keeper work.

‘Michael’s popped up with a few goals, so he has that side to his game.

‘He is undoubtedly a midfield anchor but there’s more to his game than that.

‘I dare say he gets frustrated at not being able to get forward more.

‘But he is very disciplined and will stick to his job.’

Despite playing so much football last season, as Sheffield United made the League One play-offs, Doyle had to show resilience to force his way into the first-team picture at Bramall Lame.

Shield said: ‘He was left out and the manager was looking at other things.

‘But there were some injuries and he kept his head down.

‘He played an awful lot through the rump of the season and showed a lot of durability.’